A stand-off was averted on Norfolk Island when a couple occupying a historic house chose to leave rather than face criminal charges.
The couple had been occupying one of the old officers' houses in the Kingston World Heritage Site and the Canberra administrator had had police flown in from the mainland to effect an eviction.
But one islander speaking for the couple, Mary Christian-Bailey, said they may have lost the battle but they intend winning the war.
She was referring to plans to now bring legal action to prove that it is Norfolk Islanders who control the site, not the Commonwealth of Australia.
"This now frees them to take the case to court to prove that it is not Commonwealth land, that it is Crown land in Norfolk Island's name and belongs to the people here. It was sad but it was the best decision to make," she said.
Mary Christian-Bailey said relations with the police were very good with them suggesting the couple give themselves a couple of days to leave the property.